Long Tail and Long Boat Racing



Rotax 635cc 2 strokeLongtail HydroplaneStepped Hydroplane Race BoatLong Tail Boat RaceSmall Hydroplane Plans


Long Tail boat races are held regularly in the Thai provinces, many owners and teams travel to compete in the competitions - the winnings are status and a trophy and a prize money that just above covers the cost of the fuel and transport - First prize for both 150cc single cylinder and twin cylinder unlimited cc at this competition was B2000 - about 29 pounds sterling or $54 US . Many of the competitors are owners/workers of the small engineering shops scattered around the provinces that maintain, fabricate and repair farming equipment. Success at the boat races brings more custom to the shop, after all if you can make a 150cc motorcycle engine hammer down a canal at 100mph then you have a reasonable measure of the shops ability with engines and fabrication.

Usually the only parts purchased is the propeller and the engine - the rest is made in house or refurbished from old domestic long tails.

Long tail Mud Motor Race Thai Race Boat Long Tail Stepped hydroplane Plans Mud Motor Parts Longtail props

As you can see from this picture, these are small craft - without the man sat in it you would easily mistake it for a large scale model boat

Trim is constantly adjusted by altering the angle of the tail - props are usually over pitched and run semi submerged. Slow speed steering is achieved by yawing the tail, high speed steering is done by leaning and shifting the body weight in the desired direction

You will notice from the video clips that a considerable amount of left shift (leaning to the left side of the boat) is required to counter the props torque and tendency to track to the right at speed.

These boats will flip at the slightest error in balance or if it hits the wake of another boat - a spectacular sight at speed, the pilot usually barrel rolls with his boat, the boat digs in and snaps in two and the pilot skims across the water skiing style.

No safety measures are taken or considered. This weekend resulted in one serious injury when a mechanic testing a boat drove it full speed into the pier. He was pulled out of the water unconscious with deep wounds to his head. After being rushed to hospital in the back of a pickup truck (normal) it was later found out he had been drinking heavily all morning and was only just able to stagger into the boat to test the engine.

เรือสองตอน ruea song dorn, ruea harng yao


The three types of boat raced are:


Ruea Song Torn - Stepped Hydroplane with raised rear sides

Ruea Gradort - No step.

Ruea Gratoey - In-between the other two, no step or raised rear sides

Ruea (Roo ah) = Boat

Song Torn = Two Parts (step)

Gradort = Jump

Gratoey or Gatoey = Ladyboy or Hermaphrodite


Engines used for the boats are:

Rotavator Engines (Hand Plough) 150cc 2 stroke

Car Engines - Usually Toyota 1600cc

Rotax Engines (very old 2 stroke engines) - twin cylinder 635cc

Jet Ski Engines

Scroll down for Longtail Racing Hydroplane Videos


Model Long Tail Hydroplane Racing Boat Plans

Model Longtail Boat Racing Plans Thailand Long Tail Race Boat Model Plans Thai Long Tail Hydroplane Plans Thai Long Tail Boat Plans


Thai Long tail Boat Plans Solidworks Thai Longtail Boat Plans E Drawings Long tail Boat Plans


Model Thai Long Tail Hydroplane Frame Kit Plan Set

2 Full Sized Parts Sheets in AutoCAD .dxf and .dwg format.

2 Full Sized Parts Sheets in Adobe PDF format.

1 3D Model in Solidworks E Drawings for reference.

39 Page Build Photo Album in Adobe pdf format.

Click here to purchase the plan set



Long Tail Boat Racing Videos







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Commercial Long Tail Boats in Thailand



2021 Videos


Many waterways in Thailand, especially in and around Bangkok, use large commercial long tail boats to ferry passengers and goods.

Top Speed 100 km/h Price of Boat 150,000 THB

Price of second-hand custom Engine 50,000 THB

Boat Owner - เรือซิ่ง สามวา

1600cc Toyota Twin Cam 16 valve Engine in a small Longtail Hydroplane boat.

These small taxi boats service Minburi Old Market along Klong Samwar in the outskirts of Bangkok.

The address of Minburi Old Market is: Sihaburanukit 22, Min Buri, Bangkok 10510

สีหบุรานุกิจ 22 แขวง มีนบุรี เขตมีนบุรี กรุงเทพมหานคร 10510

Build a model of a Thai Longtail Hydroplane from plans on this website


Long Boat Racing

These Thai style long boats are a tradition in Thailand - very difficult to manage and require good teamwork to row - needless to say the boats are so narrow that they are very easily tipped and with so little freeboard the sink with the smallest waves.

Top Prize money is more that the long tail boats at B6000 or 86 pounds sterling ($162 US) but it is a team effort

As usual with all Thai boats the bow has a spiritual significance and offerings are made to the spirits as the boat is launched and it is adorned with flower garlands

Before the main race various smaller warm up events take place - the one that caught my eye was barrel racing.